Before Nevada began the longest losing streak in the nation, its last win came on September 3, 2022. Nevada beat Texas State at home 38-14 that night, only for it to all crumble the next week.
Over a year later, the Wolf Pack will travel to the Bobcats and face off this Saturday. With a 13-game losing streak and a 0-3 record, there’s no better team to beat than Texas State. Ending the losing streak against the only team you’ve beaten in the past year is nothing more than poetic.
After narrowly falling to Kansas, this Nevada team seems to have a new life. The Wolf Pack played how they’re supposed to on paper, and the confidence level for Ken Wilson & Co. is rising.
Nevada (0-3) vs. Texas State (2-1)
Location: Bobcat Stadium
Date/Time: Saturday, September 23 at 4:00 pm PST
Broadcast: ESPN+, KOZZ 105.7
Line: Texas State by 17.5 points. The over/under is 59.5
History: This will be the third matchup between these two programs. Nevada is currently 2-0, with the most recent victory coming in Week 2 of last season. Texas State has not beaten a team from the Mountain West Conference since 2013 (Wyoming.)
Keys to the Game
- Limit the turnovers
Despite only losing by a touchdown, Nevada got very lucky against Kansas. Fumbling five times and recovering all of them is impressive, but those mistakes can’t happen against Texas State. The Bobcats defense is leading the nation in tackles for loss and ranks third in sacks. Nevada is going to get hit hard a lot by this defense, so keeping both hands on the ball is going to be pivotal.
Quarterback Brendon Lewis has done well at preventing interceptions. While the run game has been more active for Nevada, Lewis will need to continue his accuracy against such a dominant defense. With how dominant the Bobcats are in the sack category, Lewis will once again have to use his legs. He scored two rushing touchdowns last week and should make it a bit more difficult for Texas State to increase its sack total.
2. Be prepared for high scoring
Despite Texas State losing its first game last week, this offense is no joke. The Bobcats offense ranks No. 12 in scoring, which was shown in their Week 3 victory against Jackson State 77-34. Texas State put up 42 points in its first game of the season, so the offense is there.
Bobcats QB TJ Finley has been behind such a hot offense. He’s 55-81 with 760 passing yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions. Finley has also picked up three rushing touchdowns, making him just as much of a dual threat as Lewis.
The running game for Texas State in general has been dominant. Running backs Ismail Mahdi and Damarius Good have run for over 100 yards without recording any lost yardage. The defense, especially the defensive line, will need a major step up against the Bobcats run game.
3. End the out-of-conference play on a winning note
Nevada will begin its Mountain West play after it’s finished with Texas State. With so much built-up confidence from the Kansas game, Nevada can’t afford to fall 0-4. Fresno State is after Texas State, followed by a tough rivalry game against UNLV. The sooner this losing streak can end the better, and doing so against Texas State puts Nevada back in the conversation.
Bowl games are probably out of the question for the Wolf Pack unless they go on a tear. Anything can happen though after recording that first win. Coach Wilson needs it more than ever as his seat continues to warm up after every loss.
Nevada was able to beat Texas State with a worse team in 2022. What does scare me however is the Bobcats' defense. Texas State is capable of scoring big and limiting opposing points. It all depends on which version of the Bobcats’ offense shows up, and whether Nevada can keep up.
I’m going with the losing streak living on another week. 33-21 Texas State is my prediction, although, of course, I hope I’m wrong. Texas State has scored 77 points, but they’ve also only scored 13 points. Nevada has been just as inconsistent, going from scoring zero touchdowns to going toe-to-toe with Kansas. It could be a blowout or it could be a close, low-scoring game. All I hope for is the losing streak to be over before heading to Fresno State, but time will tell.